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Event Coverage: Anime Expo 2023: What’s new?

Note: This article was written by Hata, Fujoneko, and MaiaMae

Anime Expo 2023 is a popular anime convention that lasts for 4 entire days, and features many visual novel publishers. It’s a great time for new announcements and releases!
This year, we have new announcements from MangaGamer, JAST USA, JAST BLUE, Sekai Project, FAKKU and even Spike Chunsoft!

I had the pleasure of attending Anime Expo 2023 and what an adventure it was – an adventure that I soon found I was largely unprepared for. While I’m fully aware of the fact that I technically qualify as a hikikomori (shut in) and nearly all of my life revolves around the internet (hello, online grad school), the amount of people present at this convention was not only staggering, it became overwhelming. Because of that, and a compromised immune system, I was not able to do as much as I wanted to or attend as many panels as I thought I could. I still had an incredible time and I’m excited to share my experience with you!

Hoyoverse, Demon Slayer, One Piece, and Spy Family were everywhere throughout the convention – merch and cosplayers. As it took longer and longer for me to find any merch of the titles I enjoy (even more popular ones like Madoka Magica or Evangelion), I started to feel like an elder otaku. The anime viewing population has grown massively in the west since the COVID lockdowns. Throughout the con, gender diversity was a noticeable and welcome sight. I saw just as many women as men in both casual wear, cosplay, and drag. The unfortunate exception to this rule was the Adults Only section of the exhibition hall, wherein the amount of men drastically outweighed the number of women present. However, male character dakimakura’s and doujinshi were still available for sale.

An Otaku Girl’s First Anime Expo (Ouba Academy) by MaiaMae
MaiaMae and the Diablo statue by the entrance of Anime Expo 2023

Wow, there were a lot of cool things announced for translation! The vast majority of visual novel panels were saved for near the end of each night, as they were adults only and required a check of ID. Easily my most heartbreaking and equally exciting time of AX was waking up and getting the notification for the announcements of Minikui Mojika no Ko and Dead Days from JAST and MangaGamer, respectively. I was so disappointed I had missed those announcements live! While I was fairly certain Dead Days was going to be picked up, Mojika‘s announcement definitely gave me a shock and it took till the end of the convention for the news to finally sink in. There are so many amazing, dark visual novels to have come out in the last few years that I’m struggling to keep up! Hopefully with the main Muv-Luv trilogy I’m pouring over out of the way (blazing through Alternative right now), y’all can expect a review of Mojika and Dead Days coming from me when they do release.

An Otaku Girl’s First Anime Expo (Ouba Academy)


On July 1st 2023, MangaGamer held a 50-minute long panel at Anime Expo 2023 to make their newest license announcements. The panel was named MangaGamer: The Now & Future of Visual Novels. We already knew beforehand that they would have four titles to present in total, and the predictions varied wildly from popular otome games like Yoshiwara Higanbana to CLOCKUP titles like Yourou or Fraternite.

MangaGamer’s panel coincided at the same time as the JAST USA one, so there’s already something to mourn about, since there’s no recording of the panel itself. The one who records the panels every year, SuperAnge, went to the JAST USA panel instead — and you can watch it here.
Without further ado, let’s get right into the titles!

New Project Announcements

Hana Awase – New Moon

MangaGamer started their license acquisition announcements with an otome title by WoGa, Hana Awase. Ironically, this title was already talked about on our Discord server since someone recently completed it on VNDB and listed its playtime at around 99 hours for 100% completion. Hana Awase will release for both PC and Nintendo Switch (published by Dramatic Create), but MangaGamer’s translation will be the one used in all versions. The complete version with all routes available will only release for PC on MangaGamer as Hana Awase – New Moon.

Hana Awase was first released in Japan, starting from 2012 to 2019 in four different entries: ~Mizuchi Hen~, ~Himeutsugi Hen~, ~Karakurenai/Utsutsu Hen~, and ~Iroha Hen~. Only on the 22nd November 2019 did it release as a complete edition with all four games together as Hana Awase Zensho, right as the last entry was being released.

MangaGamer’s localization will be this Zensho version, containing all the routes; it will be done by Frillyfujoshi and Mary Borsellino. The Nintendo Switch version will be in four separate releases, with a release date already announced for October 26th 2023.

Considering MangaGamer’s translation is the one being used, the translation for the All-Ages content has to at least be finished until then, so MangaGamer’s estimated release date can’t be much different. However, no date has been specified yet.

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Yaei no Hana (CV: Nakamura Meiko)

After being involved in an accident, she is accepted into Kasen National Academy where “flowers” are enrolled. She isn’t very skilled, but she’s the type to dive in head first and she knows the world of “Hana Awase,” and becomes fully immersed in it. Her hobbies are cooking, sewing, and card games.

She was a first year at Kaibyaku High School until she was involved in an accident and was accepted into Kasen National Academy.

An average girl living in Kure City in the world of immortals—Tokoyo. A bit of a tomboy, she has a straightforward personality. She’s the type to say what she thinks. She loves Kasen and would play Hana Utsushi with her childhood friends ever since she was little. She always wanted to go to Kasen, but her mother, Ren, refused, and she gave up her dreams. She enrolled at Kaibyaku High School where the elite go on to Kasen. After the emperor falls in love with her at first sight, she is accepted into Kasen at the imperial court. It’s there that the emperor orders her to partner up with Chisen Team’s top of the top, Iroha…

Project page

Beat Valkyrie Ixseal

With Beat Valkyrie Ixseal, MangaGamer wraps up their localizations for the Beat series by Alice Soft. Starting in 2016 with Beat Blades Haruka and followed up by Beat Angel Escalayer R in 2020, it took 7 years to have the complete Beat-Series confirmed for an English release.

Beat Valkyrie Ixseal was released in Japan on the July 28th 2017, just a year after the Beat Blades Haruka game was first localized. The Beat series are gameplay titles with stat-raising mechanics and a whole lot of erotic content. The second game, Beat Angel Escalayer R , actually has lots and lots of content, so you may also expect tens of hours of play time from this title.

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Exceed the Destiny (CV: Sayaka Sasaki)

Present day.
Oudou Tsuguhiko, the reincarnation of the Demon King, is an aspiring eroge writer. He lives his life as a human student, all while awaiting the day he can reawaken to his full potential and take over the world.

However, when that day finally arrives, he is attacked by Ixseal, a Valkyrie tasked with the mission of claiming the Demon King’s life. Although he manages to escape, he is betrayed by his loyal subordinate, the demon Bezel, who steals all of Tsuguhiko’s dark powers… apart from the power of Lust. With the demons’ plot having left Ixseal stranded on Earth, she joins forces with her former adversary Tsuguhiko in order to fight against Bezel’s demonic army, the Wargrim.

To gain enough strength to defeat these powerful demons, Tsuguhiko must use his power of Lust to give Ixseal energy via “dark guidance” (i.e. engaging in sexual activities with her). Will the Demon King and Valkyrie duo seize victory as they learn to fight and live together?

Or will they instead meet a most sticky end?

Project page

Welcome to a Sexy, Open World!

MangaGamer also had to supply something for the fans of cute artwork who are not into the bloody and icky (or the handsome boys) so they brought us another MOONSTONE Cherry title, the company behind the popular ImoPara games. This is a new IP from them called Sex Open World e Youkoso!. There’s also a direct sequel called Sex Underworld e Youkoso!, suggesting they just expanded on the territory that the protagonist gets transported to. Yeah, you heard right, it’s an Isekai.

This game first appeared in Japan on September 27th 2019 and is rather unknown in the West. In April 2022, a package containing Sex World and Sex Underworld came out.

The translation will be done by John Pickett (Kouryuu).

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Ryoute ippai ni I love you (CV: solfa feat. Chata + Koharu Meu + Rin)

When he awakens from a terrible accident, Sejima Seiya finds himself in another world—Laurentide.

A world with a legend, long held by its people:

──The seed that shall give birth to heroes and end the era of war shall come from another world.──

Seiya has that seed within him.
And despite being viewed as breeding stock, he still wishes to have sex.
But now the father of the future heroes could become king of the world.


Drawn by the legend, beautiful women gather from across the world, seeking his seed.

──Or perhaps some harbor the ambition of unifying the world under their motherland.
──Or perhaps some simply desire sex with Seiya.

Regardless, Seiya’s days of getting milked by beautiful women have begun…

Original description

Dead Days

And then there we have it — the finale, and oh boy was it one. MangaGamer is making a return to their dark and gloomy side by bringing us CLOCKUP‘s DEAD DAYS. Sure, it isn’t the most anticipated Kurashiki Tatsuya title — that would probably be Maggot Baits, but we have gotten that already. Nemurenu was the title that everyone was putting their money on, but in the end DEAD DAYS is a great result, too. I have actually played through this in Japanese before, since the director was Akutsu Ryou, the mastermind director who made most of their darker works like Natsu no Kusari and Erewhon happen.

DEAD DAYS was first released in Japan on the June 28th 2019 and now we’ll get it localized! A possible release date hasn’t been announced yet, however. In DEAD DAYS, you’re playing as Kuresaka Teru; you wake up inside a warehouse together with multiple other figures… all of them should have been dead already. After they retrace their steps, they get contacted by a mysterious someone, forcing them on a death game against the specters of that world.

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Liar Liar (CV: Mr. FanTastiC)

Live, die, live again.

A group of men and women wake up in a strange place. Complete strangers to one another, each of them is a person who should be dead.

An anonymous figure offers to extend their lives in exchange for eliminating various spirits from the world. Only those like them, who have been raised from the dead, have the ability to find, touch, and ultimately kill these spirits.

Despite being brought back to life, they now find themselves at the mercy of ferocious sexual urges, never knowing when they’ll be called to fight, and living in constant fear of their remaining lifespan running out.

Still not free from death, their cruel new existence begins…

Original description

MangaGamer presented us some solid titles this AX. I’m especially hyped for the DEAD DAYS replay, considering it has been many years since I last played it. It’s exciting that – even though MangaGamer stated in the past that dark CLOCKUP titles don’t sell amazingly, they’re still localizing them. This ignites my hopes for an official localization of Natsu no Kusari and Fraternite even more. I’m probably going to check out Sex World for my lighthearted fix and my affinity to elves, too.

Did MangaGamer “win” this year’s AX battle between localization companies? Post your answers in the comments and check out the other panels’ coverages!


Once a writer for German site VNinfo, now the guy running the show (we're trying to save him from Hell okay). His energy is infectious, his passions strong, and his attachment to Nanahira manifestly unhealthy. He likes Sayonara wo Oshiete, long walks on the Internet, and excels at koolaidmanning.

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10 months ago

Thanks for the article! It was fun read. And no, I don’t think anouncements were weak at all maybe only for wholesome moege fans. For dark eroge fans it was real party )